The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

what do you put over a formed loaf to let it rise?

tashmoore's picture

what do you put over a formed loaf to let it rise?

I am fairly new to bread making, so far I have been putting plastic wrap over it, once I turned the mixing bowl over it and that turned out much better. Is the plastic wrap preventing it from rising properly? What else can I put over it? The mixing bowl isn't always large enough...

asicign's picture

I use a cotton (linen) cloth over the loaves, and then cover that with a plastic garbage bag.  Plastic wrap will probably stick, especially to a high-hydration bread.

GermanFoodie's picture

with cooking spray, then cover w/ a white trash bag. Or just plastic wrap.

LindyD's picture

Not the dough,  if you're going to use plastic wrap to cover.  That will keep it from sticking to the dough.

If you're panning your loaves, or using brotforms, the food-safe plastic bags available in the veggie sections of grocery and box stores work very well and are reusable.

BTW, welcome to TFL!

AW's picture

During the first ferment, I put the dough in a very large bowl or in the mixing bowl, and cover it with an oiled, inexpensive plastic shower cap. After the dough is formed, I use differing methods, depending on the finished product. For formed loaves, I dampen a tea towel and place it on the loaves. If you do this, ensure the towel is lightweight, like floursack towels. For freestanding loaves, I use set a floured couche on a sheet pan, form the loaves, placing the remainer of the linen couch over the top of the loaves, and sliding all of that into a large garbage bag. For high-hydration loaves (like ciabatta) I put olive oil on the plastic wrap. Plastic wrap does not prevent it from rising.

toddvp's picture

Plastic wrap is fine, but our instinct is to cover things tightly with it. Make sure you give the loaves some room. I use a plastic grocery bag (or veggie bag like suggested above) sprayed with a little oil and loosely covering the loaves, just because they're cheaper than plastic wrap. The bowl as a cover can sometimes create a suction seal if the bread expands too much, which kind of ruins things. Whatever you do, just leave slack in the cover for the loaves to expand.

tashmoore's picture

Thanks everyone. I never have the plastic veggie bags because I either grow the veggies, buy frozen/canned, or use a reusable cloth bag (or with apple picking they give us a paper bag). When my husband shops he ties a tight knot in it so it has to be torn open and isn't reusable.  Ill try putting oil on the plastic next time (I don't have a sprayer though because my 2yo got the last one and lost the sprayer part).

I usually do the first rise in the bowl, which is my KA 6qt one that I mix/knead it in.  I have been trying to not use a pan because the pan wasn't working, plus I only have one and it seems most of the time I get two loaves. This last batch (lesson 3 on here, but doubled. 2nd time making it, not doubled didn't work in my KA) I covered them loosely with the same plastic wrap that I had put over the bowl and they spread out, like they were 'rising' sideways instead of up.

I plan on trying this one for the 2nd time next It was good the first time, it just wasn't sandwich bread which I need for my daughters school lunches, but I think it will make good dinner rolls. My daughter says it's her favorite so far. I made it in the pan and it didn't do the over the top thing like store sandwich bread does, is that common with home baked bread? Although looking through the photos on there it seems like everyone elses got much higher then mine :( at least it tasted good....

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

welcome to TFL!  :)    What?   No fairy dust (hard to find even with online shopping) and didn't want the pan to levitate?  

More in the archives... use site search (upper left corner of the page) under:   cover dough

HeidiH's picture

I do stretch-and-fold on an oiled counter.  After I put the folded dough in the bowl, I rub the plastic wrap on the counter to oil it a bit.  A damp tea towel works in the summer when the house is at 78F but is too cold in the winter when evaporation cools it below the 68F we have the house.  Oh, and whatever, if anything, goes on the formed bread is on there LOOSELY.

Felila's picture

It's just the right size, not fuzzy, and usually permeated with oil from the last batch. Draped loosely.

Also, it has a nostalgia-inducing 1940s pattern of fruit and leaves around the edge :) Makes the kitchen feel homey.

rolls's picture

big plastic bag ;0)